Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government will be providing a 75% wage subsidy for small and medium businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday Trudeau told reporters that this new subsidy rate will replace the original 10% wage subsidy announced last week, saying that 10% is not enough.

“Last week we had announced that we would cover 10% of wages, but it’s becoming clear that we need to do more — much more,” he said.

“So we’re bringing that percentage up to 75% for qualifying businesses.”

Trudeau says that this measure will help companies keep employees on the payroll and help the economy recover more quickly once the pandemic is over.

While the details have not been made public, Trudeau did say the new subsidy will be backdated to March 15.

Last week Trudeau announced a 10% wage subsidy for eligible small and medium businesses up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Canadian businesses to close their doors for the foreseeable future.

Last week nearly one million Canadians filed for Employment Insurance as their employers shut down and cut hours.

On Friday Trudeau also announced a Canada Emergency Business Account program. The program will soon see banks offering $40,000 interest-free loans to qualifying businesses.

If certain requirements are met, up to $10,000 of these loans will be forgivable.

Trudeau says he hopes these new measures will encourage businesses to rehire employees and keep them on the payroll until they reopen.

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